Cornell Entrepreneur in Residence 2009-10: Sean Neville

Sean Neville is the new Entrepreneur in Residence for The Johnson School at Cornell for the 2009-2010 academic year. Sean was most recently the founder and CEO of Simply Audiobooks. He is also a classmate of mine from the MBA class of 2002, and a close friend.

Sean (on right) at his other Ithaca office, The Regent Lounge

Sean and I recently co-taught a class at Syracuse's Whitman School. It was interesting how we had such different answers to the same questions. Where I tend to come at things with a perspective of "use great technology to create a global product that we sell by the millions" , he approaches entrepreneurship from a perspective of "let's find a problem that consumers have and solve it for a profit".

Since most of the startups coming out of Cornell are driven by the $650M annual technology research budget, there is a lot of similar thinking around Ithaca about how to grow a company. So much so that some of it has become conventional wisdom within our community. Therefore, with Sean's role as the new Cornell EIR, it will be helpful for both students and entrepreneurial alumni to hear a different perspective. Breakthroughs typically occur when someone challenges the conventional wisdom.

If you are interested in meeting with or talking to Sean, I encourage you to not procrastinate. His calendar began filling up before he even stepped foot on campus. You can see Sean's full bio here, and you can email him at SMN25 at

Welcome back Sean!


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